Ahmadabad: Skipper KL Rahul scored a combative unbeaten 91 to lead Punjab Kings to a competitive 179 for five against Royal Challenger Bangalore in their IPL match here Friday.
Rahul and Chris Gayle (46 off 24) shared 80 runs but Punjab’s middle order collapsed as Harpreet Brar, batting at number seven, was the only other batsman to manage a double-digit score.
Rahul and Brar added 61 runs for the unbeaten eighth wicket to rescue the side after the RCB bowlers seized the initiative once Gayle was sent back in the 11th over.
Rahul hit seven fours and five sixes in his 57-ball knock, while Brar took 17 balls for his 25 that had two sixes and a four.
The pace duo of Daniel Sams and Mohammed Siraj bowled tight spells initially to keep the Punjab batsmen on a tight leash, not letting them open their arms.
Prabhsimran Singh, who played in place of injured Mayank Agarwal, could not contribute much, scoring a-run-a-ball 7.
Rahul looked in good touch, driving the ball elegantly but runs did not come at a good pace for the side until Gayle exploded.
The West Indian creamed five fours, including four in a row, in the last over of the Powerplay, bowled by Jamieson.
He followed that up with two sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal in the next over with the first one being a flat maximum.
Runs came thick and fast, boosting the run rate but Gayle could not convert that into a big knock.
Jamieson got rid of the Caribbean marauder, getting him caught behind. It was a soft dismissal as the sharp short ball touched Gayle’s gloves and reached into the hands of AB de Villiers.
The tall Kiwi bowler also got rid of Nicholas Pooran (0) while Deepak Hooda (5) and Shahrukh Khan (0) also made their way back to pavilion in a jiffy.
Rahul, who was losing one partner after another, completed his half-century with a single as big shots dried up again.
The last over fetched Punjab 22 runs with Rahul hitting Harshal Patel for two fours and a six before Brar closed the innings with another six.